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#2059651 - 04/05/13 07:52 AM Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed)
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Reviewed this loving piece again and recorded it with my new piano and mic.

Piano: SHIGERU KAWAI - 5
Device: SONY PCM-D50 (RECORDER) + SONY ECM-957 (MIC)
Place: Study

Feedback is expected, and hope you'll like it.
https://www.box.com/s/0b960dcojtwvn96dj2ac


Edited by MiaoW (04/05/13 10:07 AM)

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#2059726 - 04/05/13 09:54 AM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic [Re: MiaoW]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1027
MiaoW -- would like to listen to this, but I can't access it -- only the Box.com website comes up. I tried entering the File No under "Search", but it rejected that. Somehow, you should be able to post your performance directly, so that others can access easily. Thanks.

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#2059728 - 04/05/13 09:57 AM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic [Re: MiaoW]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
Same problem here.

rada

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#2059736 - 04/05/13 10:08 AM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic [Re: Tim Adrianson]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
MiaoW -- would like to listen to this, but I can't access it -- only the Box.com website comes up. I tried entering the File No under "Search", but it rejected that. Somehow, you should be able to post your performance directly, so that others can access easily. Thanks.


Thank you. I think it's been fixed.

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#2059737 - 04/05/13 10:09 AM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic [Re: rada]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: rada
Same problem here.

rada


Please try again now.

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#2059796 - 04/05/13 12:06 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1027
Wow, what a beautiful performance, and a beautiful sound, MiaoW! Just laser-like precision -- the melody and ornaments voiced and shaped so exquisitely -- the clarity was breathtaking! Thanks ever so much for sharing! I realize how difficult this piece is, particularly in the final pages, and you just brought a world of clarity to it.

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#2059799 - 04/05/13 12:09 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19672
Loc: New York
Wow -- this is very interesting!
I think you're just about an inch and half from having a truly great performance. It's beautiful, you do marvelous, marvelous things, and it's a total pleasure to listen to. I especially appreciate the flexibility of rhythm, with such fresh and sophisticated rubato, the perfect choices of tempo for every part, and the great coherence of the whole piece.

Just a few quibbles -- and this is some of the 'inch and a half' I was talking about.... grin

While the tempos and the rubato are wonderful, sometimes your flexibility and passion make you trip over the rhythm a little bit. I think this is the main thing standing between this and a truly great performance (and it's probably easily corrected). Here are a few of the places that stick out:

At 3:53, you don't continue the trill nearly long enough. You jump to the next thing way too soon. Shortly after, at 4:00, you do a similar thing although not as severely; you do the downward 'leaps' too soon and cheat the notes that you're leaping from. (When the similar figure comes in soon after, you again do the same thing, but again less so.) In fact that entire middle section suffers from additional slight unevenness here-and-there; not so much with other parts of the piece. And in the last appearance of the main theme, at 6:27, your left hand sort of 'hiccups' and jumps way too soon to the 2nd note of the measure. Maybe these things are from a little nervousness, but I think also they wouldn't happen if you weren't so flexible in general with your rhythm -- and IMO it's better to have such occasional flaws than to play rigidly. But I think you can take care of things like this if you pay particular attention to it in your work, without losing the flexibility.

Also -- and I find myself saying this to almost everyone on almost everything, especially Romantic repertoire, so it's a bias of mine and you could rightly disagree -- I would like to hear much more shaping of 'sub-phrases.' To me, Chopin is full of 'things-within-phrases' -- inner thoughts, parenthetical thoughts, stray thoughts, afterthoughts -- and I like to hear them given almost their own phrasing within the phrase. This can interfere with the overall line, which is the main reason it's not necessarily good. So, take your pick. smile

BTW I think this performance is completely note-perfect!
Except one thing: You're misreading a note!
I know, because when I first played the piece I did the same misreading. I don't think anyone had to point it out to me; just at some point I happened to notice that the score was different from what I was playing. In disbelief, I scoured through other editions to see if those had it how I was playing, and listened to recordings to see what other people played -- and alas, my way was just wrong. It's the rising R.H. figure at 4:26.

It's D natural, not D sharp. smile

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#2059914 - 04/05/13 04:01 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
Congratulations on your new piano. It sounds beautiful.

Wish you had a better mic(s) that could capture the bass sound of the piano better. With the Sony, the bass sounds relatively weak.

You play the Barcarolle perfectly. Perhaps too perfectly.
Your playing is really very clear.

I very much enjoyed listening to it. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2060035 - 04/05/13 08:45 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: Mark_C]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Wow -- this is very interesting!
I think you're just...


Thanks a lot. They're turely useful suggestions.

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#2060068 - 04/05/13 10:13 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: Mark_C]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Wow -- this is very interesting!
I think you're just ...


BTW Mark, would you like to give me any practical sugeestions or recommendation of books which may help me overcome(or reduce) the extreme nervous of playing before others?(especially strangers , and especially when it comes to any technically difficult passages)

And it mostly happen when play privately, rather than publicly.


Edited by MiaoW (04/05/13 11:06 PM)

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#2060093 - 04/05/13 11:14 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19672
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: MiaoW
....would you like to give me any practical sugeestions or recommendation of books which may help me overcome(or reduce) the extreme nervous of playing before others?(especially strangers I think, and especially when it comes to any technically difficult passages)

Thanks for asking!

You're giving yourself a pretty specific 'diagnosis' -- and I think I mostly see it differently. You sound quite well poised, in an overall way, particularly because of how capably you handle all the technical aspects and without any sacrifice of tempo. I think the main things that could use 'correcting' aren't fundamentally related to nervousness, but to your not being aware enough of how much you are prone to rhythmic glitches, and not being aware enough of what kinds of places are vulnerable to it. I don't think any books would be a great way to try to approach this. I think you'll do fine with just looking more closely at exactly what happens in your performances, with these issues in mind -- and preferably with the aid of your teacher. (I assume you do have a teacher?)

It's pretty easy to see exactly where are the places where you have the issues in this recording (like, look at the places I pointed out, and just listen to the recording closely, maybe counting or tapping every 8th note if necessary, and you'll be able to find them) -- and then to work on being more in control of the rhythm in those particular places. It's not necessarily that easy to generalize about it in your mind -- i.e. to know "what kinds of places" are vulnerable. It's better if you can also generalize it, because then you're learning something that will help you in general, sort of 'forever' smile rather than just fixing specific places in this piece. Based on what happens in this recording, I can try to generalize for you a little bit. I'm not sure it's accurate, because it's impossible to know from just one performance like this, but maybe some of these will seem valid:

-- About not holding the trill long enough: If that happened to me (which it sometimes has, including right there in this piece) grin ....what it would usually mean is, I'm self-conscious that listeners will be bored and impatient with 'nothing going on.' The same thing can happen with sustained long notes, but sometimes it's more vulnerable with a trill because, with a long note, you are at rest and so maybe it's not so hard to remain at rest, but with a trill, you are "in motion" and maybe your body is more ready to jump to the next thing.

Let's talk about that some more. smile

With a long trill, while it might sort of feel like nothing is going on, of course something is going on. So, don't be self-conscious that nothing is going on! And, let yourself luxuriate in it, as long as it takes.

But there can be another thing behind the feeling to move ahead too soon: We might not be sure that we're really doing anything with the trill! I think long trills are especially prone to such a feeling, and that this is an extra reason we might not continue them long enough. There's an easy solution to this: Think about what the trill means to you, know what you are going to do with it and make sure you believe it is something good -- or, if you don't want to be that specific about it, maybe have some different possibilities of what you might do with it, and make sure you believe they are all good. But don't just think, "OK, it's a trill," and fail to go any further with it in your mind, because then, you are really liable to being self-conscious about it and jumping away from it too soon.

-- Maybe another general thing is not waiting long enough to play the next note after shifting your hand, like in the 'leaps' at 4:00, because of being afraid that you won't do the shift fast enough, and so you rush to do it. There's no need for you to worry about rushing to shift your hand in time, because you shift it plenty fast! About things like this, rather than thinking "I better leap fast enough," I think it's better to think of what Clifford Curzon said (I think it was him): Wait as long as possible to play each next note (but not too long). ha
The way I approach something like this is actually to leap to the next note as fast as possible, and then wait -- i.e. don't play it yet. Just get there and be ready, and use your ear to make sure you wait long enough. That means leaving the previous note while it is still sounding -- held by the pedal, which is no issue in the places I mentioned, because you are surely holding the pedal. I think what most people do is to hold their hand up there on the previous note longer than necessary, as though they have to hold the note as long as it continues sounding, and then "stab" at the next note -- which not only makes us more nervous about the leap and maybe makes us rush, but also leaves us less in control of the sound of the next note.

There are also issues of pedaling at that particular place. Uncertain pedaling can also be a reason that someone might feel like rushing too quickly to the next note, but I'll leave that aside for now because this is long enough already, isn't it.... grin

-- A place where you rushed severely at one moment but which I didn't mention before is in the unaccompanied R.H. transition to the middle section. I think the reason for that was that you 'remembered' that the section is marked poco piu mosso, you sort of thought "Oh no!" and so you suddenly sped up. Of course I'm not sure that's correct, but if it is....the remedy for this kind of thing isn't so easy, because it involves management of difficult decisions about tempo. I would just say, try to know better how the tempos of different sections relate to one another, and to work hard on how you do the transitions, so that it will rarely happen that you are taken by surprise like that. And also, since it probably will still sometimes happen that we are taken by such surprise: Develop your sense of how to correct a wrong tempo. There isn't any great way to do it, but there are ways that work better than just suddenly speeding up in the middle of a phrase. Although, you did arrive at a perfect tempo after the rushed correction!

Thanks again for asking. I hope some of this may be useful.

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#2060113 - 04/05/13 11:58 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: Mark_C]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

Thanks for asking!



I think your post hit many key points, and some are very useful and in fact identical with my experience of practicing.

But they're not completely fit my situation.

I think maybe it has something to do with the degree of my preparation for the performance.

I think it never happened when I played publicly before many many people, but it happens nearly every time when a sudden invite comes, at home for instance, and they're usually very hard to refuse.

Of course when this comes I would play a very familiarized piece which I had enough confident and security before. But the strange feelings, mostly nevrous I think, comes and the result always disappoint me.

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#2060357 - 04/06/13 12:54 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Hi MiaoW,

very nice performance of this wonderful piece! I enjoyed listening to this, thank you for sharing.

And congratulations to your new piano and recording equipment; it will give you lots of joy, no doubt! smile

I'm sharing below some thoughts/suggestions (but it's all a matter of taste of course, and none of these did diminish my enjoyment of your performance!):

- On the technical/recording side (nothing to do with your playing), you might consider adding a tiny bit of reverb to your recording (right now the sound is a bit too dry in my opinion).

- First three bars: the opening call could be a bit more pronounced...the listener should be very curious as to what comes now (even after listening to the Barcarolle for the 100ths time ;-)). After that opening call you could go back (especially in terms of dynamics) a bit more

- the Barcarolle develops in long stretches, often without a break. So it's even more important (IMO) to really give some prominent breaks the attention they deserve - a time to breathe! In particular, I'm referring to the 8th breaks in measures 20, 70, and 101.

- measures 23/24, 26: nice trills....I hate to play those (because I can't do it well :-))

- throughout: a bit more "longing" when playing towards the peak of a phrase, and also shaping more in terms of crescendo and diminuendo

- bar 78-83: very nice transition to the recap, I like it!

- bar 113/114: show a bit more how beautiful this LH melody is (and the right hand leggiero is nice, but if possible even softer)
_________________________
youtube.com/user/pianovirus

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#2060509 - 04/06/13 08:00 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: pianovirus]
MiaoW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Sichuan, China
Originally Posted By: pianovirus
Hi MiaoW...


Thank you pianovirus.
I'll consider your suggestions carefully.

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#2061004 - 04/07/13 08:48 PM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
I finally got a chance to listen through this performance. All-around outstandingly done. I think you've already gotten some great comments, so I'll keep mine fairly short.

I noticed some nervous anticipation in your playing. If you had not done such a good job, I might not have noticed it, but because you played so superbly, I heard it come through in a few places. Believe me, you've got nothing to be nervous about--enjoy your own playing.

The other thing I noticed was uneven trills, sometimes immediately preceded (or followed) by some nervous anticipation. I didn't catch it at first, but a few trills were cut just a hair short, and that clued me in.

Fix those two minor things, and you would have one of my top two or three favorite recordings of this piece. Right now, you're only in the top 10. grin
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2061180 - 04/08/13 07:59 AM Re: Chopin Barcarolle Op.60 - with my new piano and mic (fixed) [Re: MiaoW]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
beautiful!

if you have the ability to post-process your recording (via a DAW), i believe that a touch of reverb would help warm up the performance (you would have to experiment with how much & what type of reverb), and let it breathe into a larger 'virtual' hall. it would also help create the illusion of distance from 'fingers on keys' and 'hammers on strings', thus removing the feeling that each note is under the microscope, so to speak.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

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